By Shaun Brown
There will be no more 100-mile road trips to the gym for Rendall Munroe 23-2 (9). He’s not moved house, he’s not even lodging with a friend or relative…
“I’ve moved into a caravan,” Munroe told BoxingScene.com.
The former European super bantamweight champion and world title challenger is tired of racking up those precious couple of hours on the motorway that could otherwise be spent fine tuning the skills that he hopes will take him to another shot at world honours in 2012.
“Now that there’s less travelling for me to do, I step out the gym and into my caravan. And in the evenings I just relax, do some reading or watch some television. I’m doing this for the love of the sport and to get back to where I was.”
On Nov 26, Munroe takes on Venezuelan born Nehomar Cermeno at the Bowlers Arena, Manchester in defence of his WBA International title. Only five months ago, Cermeno, was fighting one of the division’s leading players in Fernando Montiel albeit he only lasted just under six minutes. A reasonable CV which boasts names like Anselmo Moreno and Victor Terrazas should ensure that a competitive night’s work, before the end of 2011, is on the cards for Munroe.
“Obviously the best have to fight everyone. There’s no point saying you want to be the best if you’re not gonna fight the best,” said Munroe.
“I’ve watched a round or two of him (Cermeno) on You Tube but I’m a big believer that it’s the trainer’s job to study my opponent and teach me about him. I could go and watch all this guy’s fights and say this and that but that would just lead to problems.”
Despite beginning his boxing career at the age of 15 and not turning professional until he was 24 a lot of fans and pundits are casting a gaze over his shoulder, on the domestic scene, at names such as Carl Frampton and newly crowned British champion Scott Quigg.
“Most of these people on websites and social networking sites have never boxed a round in their life”, Munroe responded.
“I’m not here to disrespect no-one. At some point everyone is trying to make a name for themselves and make the right noises. Right now the difference between me and these other guys is simple. Who are the likes of Frampton and Quigg really fighting? When did I last box under European level? The guys I fight all have good records and have all won more than they lost!”
But with some corners of the sport openly criticising his last performance against the unheralded Ryuta Miyagi, is the writing on the wall for the 31-year old?
“100% the best of me is still to come. I know that, everyone who works with me knows that. People out there were saying my power’s gone after my last fight. Anyone could’ve seen if I wanted to put him away early I could’ve. But that would have made no sense. I don’t know when I’m going to be out again it could be 6-7 months. It’s better to get the rounds in.”
Looking ahead to 2012 Munroe is no longer interested in going back to domestic level. Those days are gone. Of course if the money’s right a contest with Frampton or Quigg has to remain an option but until then he hopes that his new promoter, Hatton Promotions, keep him on course for a second world title shot in two years.
In March of this year he sensationally ended his long-term association with promoter Frank Maloney. Although still trained and managed by Jay and Mike Shinfield, the former Leicester binman thought the time was right to move on to the Manchester stable.
“After the (Toshiaki) Nishioka fight and looking at my comeback what Frank had in mind didn’t work for me,” Munroe explained.
“No disrespect to Maloney, he did everything for me. But we took an opportunity presented by the Hattons and I’m very happy that we did.”
Almost a year on from his maiden, yet unsuccessful, WBC world title shot against Nishioka a humble yet honest Munroe reflected on that night in Japan.
“The better man won on the night. Everything’s done for a reason and it wasn’t my day. I’ve sat down with the team and yeah there’s a few things I could’ve done differently but sometimes you gotta take a couple of steps back to take a huge step forward.”
Munroe v Cermeno will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 & HD1 from 9pm on Nov 26.
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